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Worthington Whittredge - Fishing

Worthington Whittredge (1820-1910), American
Fishing, around 1868-70
OIL ON CANVAS, 17 X 14 inches
Gift of the Estate of Horace Fairbanks

This intimate depiction of two figures fishing in a quiet stream has been characterized by leading Whittredge scholar Anthony Janson as "paradise regained, not on God's terms but man's." The spiritual aspect of American landscape painting, one of its cardinal traits, diminished in the wake of the Civil War and the 1859 publication of Charles Darwin's rev­olutionary On the Origin of Species. This peaceful forest interior, framed by the surrounding and overhanging trees, portrays the return to nature as respite from the demands of the urban world, rather than a spiritual pilgrimage.